Campaign for Urban Parks

Campaign for Urban Parks header

What if we could fight childhood obesity, reduce crime, create jobs, and revitalize communities all at the same time? Congress introduced a new bill to do all those and more in the very places we live and work every day. Called the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (HR 709), the legislation would provide grants to help communities build or revitalize more than 2,300 parks and recreation centers every year.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics both support the use of the built environment to combat obesity, yet no current legislation exists solely to create these public spaces. If we want active, healthy people we need to provide safe and accessible places for children and adults.

But Congress won’t act without your help. Contact your representatives now.

Why are parks important?

Urban parks provide significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to everyone in the community. Parks are not just pretty places, but critical to the fabric of our daily lives:

  • 2010 Advocacy Urban Parks

    The Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago
    Photo: Piet Oudolf 


    Urban parks provide serious bang for your buck, which more than offsets the initial investment. They raise property values, attract businesses, and spur critical economic activity for the community.
  • Residents and businesses rate parks as one of the most important factors in their decision to reside in a given area. 
  • Parks provide areas to exercise and reduce crime and juvenile delinquency. 
  • Parks offer gathering places for families, friends, and people of all ages and economic status. 

What’s in the legislation?

  • Requiring a local government match, the bill would provide $445 million annually to projects that connect children to the outdoors, increase physical activity, link to public transportation, and contain safe biking and walking routes.  
  • The legislation encourages environmentally friendly elements to reduce utility and maintenance costs, lower the urban heat island effect, and reduce stormwater runoff.  
  • The bill could fund more than 2,300 projects every year. 

Learn more about the issue:

Video of Eddie George at Congressional Urban Caucus discussing urban parks

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement

Centers for Disease Control Designing and Building Healthy Places

Livable Communities Resource Guide

Philadelphia Park Value Report (Trust for Public Land)

Urban Parks Coalition  

Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (ASLA Issue Brief)

Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (Full Text of Legislation)

Advocacy News

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Revitalizing Communities with Parks



Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs